Quality control (QC) is performed routinely through professional guidelines. However, the recommended QC frequency may not be optimal among different institutional settings. Here we propose a novel method for determining the optimal QC frequency using risk matrix (RM) analysis.
A newly installed Magnetic Resonance linac (MR‐linac) was chosen as the testing platform and six routine QC items were investigated. Failures of these QC items can adversely affect treatment outcome for the patient. Accordingly, each QC item with its assigned frequency forms a unique failure mode (FM). Using FM‐effect analysis (FMEA), the severity (S), occurrence (O), and detection (D) of each FM was obtained. Next, S and D based on RM was used to determine the appropriate QC frequency. Finally, the performance of new frequency for each QC item was evaluated using the metric E = O/D.
One new QC frequency was the same as the old frequency, two new QC frequencies were less than the old ones, and three new QC frequencies were higher than the old ones. For six QC items, E values at the new frequencies were not less than their values at the old frequencies. This indicates that the risk of machine failure is reduced at the new QC frequencies.